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The Independent National Electoral Commission has vowed not to extend the June 3, 2022 deadline for primaries even as an observation on Monday showed that none of the 18 political parties had conducted their presidential primaries three weeks to the deadline.
A document obtained from INEC on Monday showed that the Accord Party scheduled its primaries for June 2 while the Action Alliance fixed its own for June 3.
The African Action Congress is also expected to hold its own on June 3 while the African Democratic Congress and the Action Democratic Party will hold theirs on June 1 and May 30 respectively.
The All Progressives Congress will complete its presidential primary on June 1; the All Progressives Grand Alliance will conduct its primary on June 1 while the Allied Peoples Movement will conduct its primary on May 30.
The Action People’s Party slated its primary for May 27, the Boot Party will conduct its own on June 3, Labour Party on June 3 and the New Nigeria People’s Party on June 1 and 2.
The National Rescue Movement fixed its Presidential primary for June 1 and 2, the Peoples Democratic Party will hold its own on May 29, the Peoples Redemption Party will conduct its primary on May 28, and the Young Progressives Party will hold its own on June 1 while Zenith Labour Party will hold its primary on June 1.
The PUNCH learnt that the Social Democratic Party, which had fixed its primary for May 14, failed to do so.
Sources told our correspondent that parties had fixed their presidential primaries for the last minute in order to carry out negotiations and also lobby INEC.
A PDP chieftain said, “What many of these smaller parties usually do is to hold their primaries very late in order to adopt the candidate of one of the big parties. They use this to get funding. Also, because everyone is still lobbying INEC for an extension of time, everyone is trying to push their primaries towards the deadline just in case INEC obliges.”
Meanwhile, the PDP has again postponed its governorship primary, for the third time this month.
The opposition party had first fixed its governorship primary for May 21 and then extended it to May 23. However, in a fresh letter dated May 16 which was addressed to INEC, the party indicated that it would now hold its governorship primaries on May 25.
The party also shifted its House of Assembly primaries from May 7 to May 21 while the House of Representatives primary will take place on May 22. The PDP noted that its senatorial primary will be conducted on May 23 as against the initial May 14.
The letter which was signed by the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, and the National Secretary, Samuel Anyanwu, read in part, “In the case of the South-East region, due to the sit-at-home order currently observed on Mondays, the Senate primaries will now hold on May 24, 2022, in the South-East zone.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.